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Nightingale at the Dump

27th September 2020

This Nightingale, that was found by Neil McMahon at the dump, was by far the showiest individual that I’ve observed out all five, including this one, on Scilly

This morning I went to have a look at the 4 Pink-footed Geese at Porth Hellick that arrived two days ago and joined up with the 2 Greylag Geese that turned up a few days before. No sign of the latter species but while the 4 Pink-footed Geese were lazily swimming around on the water, I could hear 2 Cetti’s Warbler nearby. At the airfield I met up with Andrew Gardener and the only birds of note were 2 Yellow Wagtail, 30 Meadow Pipit, first Skylark of the year and the week long staying Golden Plover but no sign of Richard’s Astons Ortolan Bunting that I managed to see yesterday evening.

The 4 Pink-footed Geese at Porth Hellick that arrived two days ago

Just before 10.00, I set off to Samson in my kayak and just off Green Island were 10 pale-bellied Brent Geese and the Spoonbill. I covered a lot of ground on Samson itself and for my effort, the Dunlin were down to only 10 but there were over 150 Ringed Plover and a single Grey Plover. A Kestrel and large female Sparrowhawk, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Wheatear, 1 Snipe and an adult Common Gull were only other birds of note. With 4 Yellow-browed Warbler on St Mary’s this morning, a quick call to Higgo, who was on Bryher, to find out if it’s worth coming over. ‘Dead!’ That made my decision to kayak to St Agnes. As I was approaching the north end of the latter island, the wind and the tide coming in, made it pretty rough goin out there. A Nightingale that was found earlier on St Mary’s, 12.45, was still showing on and off at the dump and it was now 15.20. Nightingale on Scilly are normally skulkers and with no news coming out of St Agnes, I turned east in the direction of St Mary’s. 30 minutes later I was watching the Claucous Gull, that was seen off Samson earlier on in the afternoon, distantly over the harbour before flying towards Porthloo where I lost it.

2 Goldcrest were in the sparse Mallows

The Spoonbill had no problem with me in my kayak

Grey Plover

There was only a single Wheatear

Just managed to get a few record shots, from my kayak, of this Claucous Gull disappearing behind Newford Island at Porthloo The first time that I’ve ever seen a white-winged gull in September

Back on dry land, I raced to the dump, passing the Bay View fields on me bike, where I managed to glimpse the Turtle Dove feeding near to the open gate way. At the dump, Hugh Pulsford told me that the Nightingale was showing a minute before I turned up. Typical! However, it wasn’t long until someone pointed it out and there it was perched out in the open at the top of the bank that borders the dump. It flew closer and showed well on an Echim plant before diving into cover. It was some twenty minutes later that it popped up again in the same plant and performed superbly for nearly a minute. After that it briefly showed before I made my ways home as I was getting pretty hungry after kayaking for half the day.

This was the first sighting of the Nightingale

While it was perched up on the bank, it was giving this grunt ‘type’ call a few times

Before it came a little closer

And closer and when hidden in cover you could still hear a soft ‘tac’ It also proved to be the best Nightingale I’ve ever observed

This Whinchat was also in the same area

Yesterday evening, Scott Reid heard a Citrine/Easten Yellow Wagtail over Peninnis heading towards Lower Moors. Myself and Jack Wilson went searching in the latter area and thought we had found Scott’s wagtail and it was shaping up to be an Eastern on first appearance. However, it circled a few times, calling the typical Yellow Wagtail and obviously not the same bird that Scott heard which had a harsh call. Just a grey and white Yellow Wagtail that we get on occasions on Scilly in the autumn

In the last hour of light, after seeing the grey and white Yellow Wagtail, On the airfield, we got 5 Yellow Wagtail and near to the orange and white checkered hut, was the Ortolan Bunting that was found by Richard Aston a few days ago

On the 23rd I had this ‘acro’ warbler on the Dead Pine Walk, Garrison that I thought was a Blyth’s Reed Warbler at the time. This was the best record shot I could get as it was always hidden behind needles or too low down out of sight feeding in the pine trees. It never skulked as such and was always in a banana posture but I didn’t really get enough on it and was rather too hasty in putting the news out as a BRW. Unfortunately, the bird went to ground when the start of the storm came in and the first birders arrived.

There were also 2 Spotted Flycatcher and this Pied Flycatcher in the same pines

This early male Black Redstart was at Porthloo last week

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Author: Kris Webb 10

I love to throw sticks at trees! I also can’t get enough of music! I also blog about my observations on Scilly and wherever I go around the world and what’s sometimes on my mind. I’ve visited over 30 countries and some more times than once. I’ve worked and volunteered in Nepal, USA, Peru, Gambia, Costa Rica, 3x Australia, and refugee camps in Palestine The profile image is one I took while in Palestine of a brave Israeli holding high the Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli Offensive Forces during protests in Belin

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